This image was inspired by a greenstone (pounamu) tiki I made, with a lot of help from Steve and Aaron, at Bonz’n’Stonz in Hokitika,
What I can remember of the origin of pounamu, as told to me by Aaron…
The taniwha Poutini captured a beautiful woman named Waitaiki in the North Island. When Waitaiki’s husband discovered that his wife was missing, he used karakia (incantations) to find Poutini, catching up with him at the Arahura River on the West Coast of the South Island. To keep Waitaki from her husband, Poutini turned her into his own essence – pounamu – and laid her in the Arahura river bed. The pieces of pounamu now found in the Arahura are Waitaiki’s children.
“Earth is ancient now, but all knowledge is stored up in her. She keeps a record of everything that has happened since time began. Of time before time, she says little, and in a language that no one has yet understood.”
The Myth of Atlas and Heracles